Crowbar has a new album coming out this year! Down will be celebrating 25 years since their seminal debut was released! AND we get Kirk Windstein’s first ever solo outing to boot? How are we all so lucky? And most importantly, how is Kirk Windstein so goddamn amazing to bestow this much Sludge awesomeness upon us in 2020? Those questions and more will (most likely) be answered if you read on…or, at the very least, you’ll get a pretty decent review of Dream In Motion which is out on January 24th.
But I digress!
January releases have it the toughest because A) They have the pressure of being an album that will inevitably kick off, not only a new year, but also a whole new decade of music in this case and II) They risk being swallowed up and potentially forgotten with that aforementioned slew of stuff coming out in the months to follow. In the case of Crowbar and Down’s resident axe master and vocalist, you needn’t worry about either because on his first solo outing he’s crafted such a memorable collection of songs that listeners are more likely to forget any album to come that’s not by Kirk WIndstein.
The title track and first single will immediately quell any doubts that Windstein would be better off in a group setting. For fans, like myself, of Odd Fellows Rest, Dream in Motion is a godsend. Dripping with the unrelenting Sludge/heaviness that’s become synonymous with Windstein but diving into the deep end with experimental and Psychedelic excursions, Dream In Motion is easily a career defining record and an absolute triumph from start to finish.
“Hollow Dying Man” is a transcendent kind of Heavy yet spacey at the same time with synths that bring to mind the flourishes used throughout Heaven & Hell’s masterful debut in 2009 going so far as to channel Pantera’s mystical take on “Planet Caravan” (Lookit me bridging two eras of Black Sabbath here!) at times as Windstein’s broad vocal passages drift into the ether.
“Once Again” is a world builder and sounds unlike anything the riff lord has produced previously in other outfits as “Enemy In Disguise” keeps on keepin’ on along those sonic ley lines with Windstein’s cleanest vocals to date echoed and shimmering within this new universe. “Toxic” is unrelentingly heavy and could easily be a Crowbar banger complete with huge breakdowns and on the flip side, “The Healing” is almost four and a half minutes of sonic zen. The art of shreddy meditation, if you will. But even this instrumental lurches like a goliath, performing feats of glorious riff ferocity sans a word uttered by WIndstein and it’s still one of the most potent tracks on here.
When “Aqualung” (Originally by Jethro Tull) storms in with that familiar riffage to herald the close of the record it’d be easy to think this was a Windstein original with how well it sinks up with what preceded it. And that’s the genius of Dream In Motion and Windstein’s vision here which retains that unique heaviness he’s become synonymous for while venturing into the unknown to create something even more powerful.
Dream in Motion releases on January 24th through Entertainment One. You can pre-order your copy now by clicking here or here. For the latest on Kirk Windstein, including what’s next in 2020, follow him through the Crowbar socials by clicking here or here.